The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Michael Stulman (202) 546-7961

Africa Action Responds to the Obama Administration's FY10 Detailed Budget Release

Preliminary Analysis Shows U.S. Under-Funding AIDS Programs


This morning the
Obama released the detailed fiscal year 2010 budget information on U.S.
bilateral AIDS programs and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis
Malaria. According to preliminary analysis by Africa Action, the U.S.
will be
under-funding life-saving HIV/AIDS initiatives in Africa.

Gerald LeMelle, Executive Director of Africa Action said today, "The
President is well-intentioned; however, more resources must be provided
for a
comprehensive and effective global health strategy. Without adequate
for HIV/AIDS initiatives, the U.S. will forgo long-term savings in
cases where
we fail to prevent infections, and instead must place an increasing
number of
people on treatment."

In July of 2008 Congress authorized $48 billion for the President's
Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). Over five years, the goal was to treat
at least
3 million people with HIV, preventing 12 million new infections, caring
for 12
million people, including 5 million orphans and vulnerable children. It
also set to train and retain at least 140,000 new health workers.

To accomplish these goals PEPFAR would need $9 billion in 2010, but
to the new budget released today, it is only receiving $4.5 billion (a
increase from 2009).

The FY2010 budget was revealed just days after the White House
announced a new
six-year "Global Health Initiative". Many people have already falsely
that funding for PEPFAR will be sustainable in light of the new Global
Initiative, but Africa Action has found that either PEPFAR will not
reach its
target goals due to lower levels of funding in the five years
authorized or in
2014 many health programs will essentially stop because of a lack of

The plan allocates $51 billion for PEPFAR and Malaria, but over six
rather than five. If PEPFAR were fully funded at $48 billion, that
would leave
only $3 billion available in the budget for 2014.

Based on estimates on the total funding needed to achieve the
Millennium Development
Goals for maternal and child mortality, the U.S. needs to contribute
billion over six years. The Global Health Initiative announced by the
administration includes only $12 billion for all non-AIDS, tuberculosis
malaria "global health priorities."

Michael Stulman, Associate Director for Policy and Communications
warns, "Millions
of lives could be unnecessarily lost because the U.S. will not fully
fund AIDS
programs. In the long run, a scale back in funding will result in a
need for foreign assistance, and inequalities that will increase
conflict over
Stulman adds, "People with HIV/AIDS need higher
quality and more affordable
medications for treatment. The U.S. has a responsibility to support
health priorities that can achieve this."

Equally susceptible to this funding shortfall is the Global Fund to
Fight AIDS,
Tuberculosis and Malaria. The Global Fund needs $2.7 billion to prevent
cuts to
lifesaving grants, but according to the budget released this morning it
received exactly what it got last year - $900 million.

Announcements to short-change the Global Fund come just one day after
spring meeting in Geneva where the Board of Directors agreed to enhance
Fund's response to prevent mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT).

Africa Action welcomes this decision by the Board of Directors.

"By investing in reproductive health, the Global Fund is opening the
opportunity to eliminate HIV/AIDS,"
said LeMelle. "But
the announcement came just before the White House announced it would
turned its
back on past promises made. President Obama needs to fulfill his
commitment and
ensure that the U.S. provides its fair share to the Global Fund."

Africa Action calls on the United States to contribute its
proportionate share
to the Global Fund by appropriating $2.7 billion in 2010, and an
additional $1
billion in 2009.

**Visit this week for full analysis of the FY2010


Additional Resources for this story:

Action Talking Points on the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis

Obama's AIDS Plan, released during the campaign, can be found at

Africa Action is a national organization that works for political, economic and social justice in Africa. Through the provision of accessible information and analysis combined with the mobilization of public pressure we work to change the policies and policy-making processes of U.S. and multinational institutions toward Africa. The work of Africa Action is grounded in the history and purpose of its predecessor organizations, the American Committee on Africa (ACOA), The Africa Fund, and the Africa Policy Information Center (APIC), which have fought for freedom and justice in Africa since 1953. Continuing this tradition, Africa Action seeks to re-shape U.S. policy toward African countries.